What Jesus Gave For Christmas

Christmas Surrender Yourself to God

Surrender by “Ancient History” – Creative Commons

The thermometer said 3 degrees and there was snow and ice on the roads. We were experiencing some unusually low temperatures here in Oregon and it was during that cold snap, I was reluctant to leave the nest to go to church. Inside, my house was warm and cushy. There was food in the fridge and games on TV. The lure of the self-life called strong. I didn’t want to give up that comfort to go worship Jesus corporately.

What Jesus Gave

Have you ever thought about what Jesus gave up, to come to us? He didn’t leave a warm home on a cold day, he left heaven. He left his Father. He left his throne. He left multitudes of angels who supported him at his every turn. He left a place where there’s no pain, a place overflowing with joy. He left a place so magnificent we can’t even imagine it. He gave it all up so he could come to our place, planet earth, to bleed on the cross, because it was the only way to reconcile us with our Father.

Jesus gave up everything for us. He gave it all.

What I Give

That’s what we celebrate on Christmas. I’ve been thinking about that lately, what He gave up and what I gave up. He gave up everything, I gave up–not much. I became a Christian a long time ago but there has always been some something I wanted to hang onto. Oh I wanted to be a Christian to be sure, so I could make it into heaven. But I didn’t want to let go of certain things.

I wanted to remain a Christian but…

  • I wanted to remain a Christian but I wanted to glorify myself playing music.
  • I wanted to remain a Christian but I wanted to glorify myself on the basketball court, or the tennis court, or in some other sport.
  • I wanted to remain a Christian but I wanted to pursue success in my career at the expense of relationships.
  • I wanted to remain a Christian but I wanted to become a millionaire.

I wanted to remain a Christian but…

Lately though I’ve come to realize how crazy it will feel at the gates of heaven to have clung to those things for so long. They have no value in God’s economy.

Search Your Heart, You Know It’s True

Looking back I now realize how much I resented God’s encroachment on my self-life. I always wanted to keep certain parts as mine. I didn’t want to give it up. I didn’t want to surrender all of me to Him. Jesus left everything. He paid the ransom for us with his blood. He bought us at an unimaginable price. We’re his, but do we live like we’re his? What’s the ratio of who owns what when it comes to your life? Does 70% belong to you and 30% to your Savior? Or is it more like 80/20? Or 90/10?

Or 99/1?

I think most of us approach life like this: “Thank You for laying down Your life for me, but my life is mine. You can have just enough of me so I make it into heaven. I want the rest.”

That’s terrible to say, but it’s true.

Search your heart: you know it’s true.

Jesus sought us out and gave everything for us.

Ask yourself, “Why wouldn’t I do the same for him?”

Surrender all of yourself to God this Christmas.

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